Alison Carney Consulting

Gender, Sport,
 Social Change

I provide training, consulting and resources to NGOs, international development organizations, community sports organizations and their funders to support them to improve MEL (monitoring, evaluation and learning), program design and internal gender equity and equality practices so that they can better achieve social change and social justice.  


About me.


I've spent over 10 years working as a consultant and researcher with international sport and development organizations and I love what I do.  I have vast experience facilitating capacity building workshops on monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) for community organizations as well as international organizations and foundations.  

In parallel, I deliver gender trainings and consultancy and work with organizations and foundations to reflect on and improve in gender equity, diversity and inclusivity both internally and in the projects and activities that they deliver.  

My work is based in a feminist and intersectional perspective and I use participatory processes to support social change.





My work has been principally with organizations that use sport as a tool for social change work.  As an athlete and coach I'm passionate about the potential of sport to contribute to social change.  My belief in gender justice and inclusion is present and guides the work I do.  

My experience coaching and working directly with youth informs the capacity building work I do on a regular basis. 

The trainings that I facilitate and consultations I provide are not sport specific, and are applicable across the sector of international development and community development.


years of experience

Consulting and researching with international sports and development organizations.



research papers & articles

Advocating on the topic of gender and sports, my work has been being in prominent academic journals and blogs.




From Moving the Goalposts to UN Women to Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, I've worked together with over 15 international and local organizations to improve and build strong programs globally.



The facilitations, trainings and consultancy services that I provide are not sport specific, they are applicable across the sector of international development and community development.  

gender consulting and facilitation

  1. Strategy and facilitation to improve inclusion and diversity internally
  2. Training to improve delivery of programs to reflect gender and social justice


      Program learning and theory of change

      1. Theory of change workshops
      2. MEL framework development
      3. Learning-driven design for sports and development programs

      research and writing

      1. Qualitative research
      2. Sport, development and gender research



        Workshop boardSTUDIO.jpg


        I believe in building meaningful relationships. Before measured outcomes and lengthy testimonials my work with organizations needs to be fulfilling for all parties. I believe collaboration is key. I hope to build strong relationships, continual support and lasting change with every organization and project I work with, and impact that positively contributes to every program participant.




        The politics of pleasure in girl-centred sport for development programming

        Examinations of pleasure are absent from much of the work that explores sport. This is surprising because of the frequent assertion that watching and playing sport is fun, enjoyable, or pleasurable. Similarly, a lack of discussion about pleasure exists in Sport for Development (SfD) programming. This article explores the presence and absence of pleasure in SfD projects that focus on girls’ empowerment through interviews with five SfD practitioners. The findings suggest that the importance of pleasure within individual programmes varies according to the larger political/social context for girls’ everyday pleasures, the necessity of measuring pleasure for donors, and the differing interpretations of what made sports fun for girls. Through this exploration of pleasure, notions of evidence, impact, and M&E (monitoring and evaluation) within SfD are critically interrogated.


        Taking sex off the sidelines: Challenging heteronormativity within ‘Sport in Development’ research

        The majority of ‘Sport in Development’ (SiD) research imparts a heteronormative framework that serves to prevent nuanced understandings of how sexuality and gender matter in programming that aspires to achieve development through/with sport. The authors review existing SiD academic literature and draw on personal work and research experiences within the SiD field to evidence this claim.
        Three reasons for this heteronormative frame are identified: (1) limited engagement with themes of sexuality within research on international development; (2) few examinations of queer desire and sport in areas of the Global South; and (3) the emphasis on quantitative monitoring and evaluation tools within SiD programming. The authors conclude by offering suggestions on how to challenge the existing heteronormative framework within SiD research.


        The significance of female coaches and leadership in SfD

        Adolescent girls’ and young women’s (AGYW) empowerment through sport has increasingly become a priority for sport for development (SfD) organizations and funders. Yet, it is not always clear how organizations can improve in this area nor which strategies prove most effective.  This research explores promising practices through six case studies with organizations from across the world, that differ greatly, but employ some similar strategies in their work. The aim is to understand how female coaches and female leadership impact girls’ participation and empowerment.



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